The Turks and Caicos (TCI) are perfectly positioned as a ‘Gateway to the Caribbean’, located only 575 miles southeast of Miami. Yet, there are many reasons for yachtsmen to stay rather than simply use this British Overseas Territory as a stepping stone destination.
“The year-round warm weather, clear turquoise waters and alabaster white sand makes TCI ideal for cruising and all water sports,” says Adam Foster, of the Blue Haven Resort on Providenciales, where Island Global Yachting (IGY) will open its brand new Blue Haven Marina this summer for yachts up to 180-feet.
In addition, TCI boasts over 40 islands. Some are uninhabited cays perfect for dropping anchor and evoking that ‘getting away from it all’ feeling, while others like Providenciales are larger and boast everything from fine dining to shopping, sight-seeing and breathtaking beaches. In fact, the Providenciales beaches were rated best in the world by TripAdvisor in 2011.
Direct flights from Miami, New York, Dallas, Charlotte, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, London and more land at the Providenciales International Airport. This facility includes a private aviation center with its own customs and immigration officers. The new Blue Haven Marina is located only 15 minutes away by taxi.
Captains arriving by sea will find it’s a straightforward route into the marina, which is marked by lighted channel markers. The current depth at low tide is 5.5-feet, but maintenance dredging will deepen this to 12-feet in the summer.
Crew will find a full line of services and amenities at the marina. Docks are equipped with 3-phase 380v electricity, water provisioning and a pump out facility. Diesel fuel is available at the main docks and gasoline at the smaller water sports docks. The marina operations center offers crew facilities including a crew bar/grill, work room, chart room, shower and bath facilities. Laundry services are available and there’s a 52-room resort with restaurant, spa and convenience store adjacent to the marina. Marina concierge services can book restaurant reservations as well as organize activities and excursions.
For Owners and Guests
There are a multitude of multi-ethnic and excellent dining options on Providenciales. Examples include contemporary French cuisine at the Beach House, Italian at the Caicos Café, Indian at Garam Marsala, Thai at Thai Orchid and elegant Caribbean at Coyaba. There’s also Da Conch Shack an open-air bar and grill named in Patricia Schulz’s best-selling book, ‘1,000 Places to See Before You Die’ that serves TCI’s signature staple in a variety of appetizing ways including fritters, salad and chowder as well as cracked, curried and creole.
Finally, for its relatively small 170-square mile size, TCI offers a wonderful array of activities. On land, there’s the Provo Golf Club. The course here is ranked one of the top ten courses in the Caribbean. There are several spas including the Regent Palms Spa and Spa at Blue Haven. History buffs will enjoy visiting the 200-year-old Cheshire Hall plantation ruins on Providenciales, the 1852-built lighthouse south on Grand Turk, and the John Glenn Exhibit, an attraction that celebrates the fact that Glenn’s Friendship 7 capsule splashed down only a few short miles from Grand Turk. Of course, watersports are the TCI’s chief calling card. The territory is surrounded by the third largest barrier reef in the world and this provides outstanding diving and fishing. Kite-boarding, wake-boarding, mangrove kayaking and paddle-boarding are all popular too. These are all reasons to make TCI and the new IGY Blue Haven Marina a yachting destination rather than just a brief detour on passages south.